Japan will use Australian coal to build 45 modern coal fired plants:
Japan is the largest overseas market for Australian coal producers, taking more than a third of all exports.
Why coal? It’s cheaper than gas:
Tom O’Sullivan, a Tokyo based energy consultant with Mathyos Global Advisory, said in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, Japan started importing more liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Australia.
But he said the move to more coal fired power was because coal was cheaper than LNG, and the energy security was priority for the government.
The new ultra super critical coal plants burn hotter and are more efficient (hence, high energy, low emissions = HELE).
Finally, after blackouts and scandalously high electricity bills, Malcolm Turnbull is just starting to float the idea of building, maybe, one. China has them, even Indonesia will get one before us.
Japan needs to import 95% of its energy. Australia is the largest exporter of coal in the world, and has the largest known uranium resources in the world, but we voluntarily wear a hair shirt to appease GAIA. We sacrifice our cheap energy advantage for fear that loud ill-mannered people who are bad at maths will call us selfish and uncaring.
The US meanwhile is ramping up oil and gas production:
The world’s largest oil-consuming country could sell as much as 800,000 barrels a day of crude overseas this year, according to four analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. That’s more than OPEC producers Libya, Qatar, Ecuador and Gabon each pumped in December. The U.S. exported 527,000 barrels a day in the first 11 months of 2016, Energy Information Administration data show.
The Trumpocene is a new world, Australia is years behind.
“it is estimated that as many as three-quarters of Australia’s coal-fired power stations are operating beyond their original design life, “
–Engineers Australia submission Nov 2016
This week in Australia HELE plants are being called “clean coal” because they produce 15 -50% lower emissions (depending on who you ask and how dirty the old plant is that they replace.) But almost no one even mentioned these plants until last week — clean coal used to mean only the fantasy of carbon capture.
h/t GWPF, David, Scott of the Pacific.